BJP Takes Cue From Yogi, Congress Woos Urban Poor in MCD Manifesto

BJP Takes Cue From Yogi, Congress Woos Urban Poor in MCD Manifesto

Fresh on the heels of its stunning victory in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Delhi Unit of the BJP released its ‘Sankalp Patra’ for the upcoming MCD elections, focussing on addressing the concerns of landowners and the urban poor in one go, as well as addressing the allegations of the AAP and Congress. The manifesto, released by the BJP Delhi president Manoj Tiwari as a vision of PM Modi and party national president Amit Shah, promises not to raise any taxes. This comes in the backdrop of the AAP promise to abolish house tax, and allegations that the BJP would raise water and electricity tariffs, if voted to power.

The BJP, which is also the incumbent in these elections, also promised that it would have the entire share of funds allotted to the corporations in the Delhi government budget released. This has become a hot issue owing to the strikes by sanitation workers protesting non-payment in recent years. The other highlight of the manifesto was the Deendayal Antyodaya Rasoi Yojana, which promised to provide meals of Rs.10 to the poor through the corporations. The manifesto promised a “transparent and corruption-free” rule. It also promised to regularise the temporary sanitation workers, digitalisation of citizen services, putting pressure on the Delhi government for regularisation of unauthorised colonies.

It was also the Congress’s turn to release their vision document, where we saw a return to appeals to the urban poor in the days of Indira Gandhi.

It is the first in a three part manifesto, and a vision document for urban infrastructure and youth will be released in the coming days. Taking a cue from the BJP, state president Ajay Maken said a gigantic 2000 crore fund will be set up to improve slums and resettlement colonies, and a separate poverty elimination board will be set up and granted 5200 crore. The manifesto also promises health and accident insurance to the poor, and licences to about 5 lakh street vendors.

The AAP effect on taxes also showed up, with the party promising no raise in taxes, and a possible cut in house tax through “uprooting corruption and efficient collection of other taxes”. Maken also promised to make the corporations solvent, a long standing demand. He said that the licence fee collected from vendors and toll taxes would help cover the losses the corporations have incurred in the BJP rule. “We are not making hollow promises as BJP did yesterday in its manifesto. They ruled corporations for 10 years and failed even to pay timely salaries to sanitation workers and teachers of municipal schools, how do they plan to fulfil tall promises made by them,” Maken said.

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Shruti Bhatt

Shruti Bhatt is an engineering graduate, consumed with her passions day in and day out. An avid moviemaniac, a foodie, a bibliophile, and coffee-fashion-music enthusiast, Ms. Bhatt is on the way of becoming a raconteur - the word she is most fascinated with.

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